Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Criminal Justice Bill.

Wednesday, 20 May 1970

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 246 No. 11

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29.

Mr. M. O'Leary: Information on Michael O'Leary  Zoom on Michael O'Leary  asked the Minister for Justice whether any decision [1953] has been made to reintroduce the Criminal Justice Bill; and, if so, whether any amendments have been made.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  There is no change in Government policy in relation to the Bill. The Bill will be proceeded with as soon as an opportunity presents itself.

Amendments to the Bill as circulated have already been made in the Dáil and other amendments officially approved have been circulated. I should like to repeat what has already been said more than once that any reasoned criticism of any provision of the Bill will be given the fullest consideration by Government.

Mr. Desmond: Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  May I inquire from the Minister if in view of the many political gyrations of the former Minister and of the Cabinet and of his party, notably at the Ard-Fheiseanna of his party, on this Bill, he would now bury for good and all the more odious and more politically unnecessary and legally ludicrous sections of this measure and save us the bother of having the legislation reintroduced?

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  I am not aware that there are any sections in the Bill that would fit the descriptions employed by Deputy Desmond.

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  The Minister must have read it?

Mr. Desmond: Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  In view of the fact that there is widespread public confusion as to what precisely is now contained in the Bill and in view of the fact that the Minister himself——

Mr. Carter: Information on Frank Carter  Zoom on Frank Carter  Repetition, speech.

Mr. Desmond: Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  ——did not disclose that, would the Minister circulate to the Members of the House and to the public at large an explanatory memorandum on the policy of the Government and the intentions of the Government in this matter?

Dr. FitzGerald: Information on Garrett Fitzgerald  Zoom on Garrett Fitzgerald  Hear, hear.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  When the Bill comes [1954] before the House the matter will be fully explained by me.

Mr. Desmond: Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  On television there were five different versions of what would be contained in the Bill.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  The Bill is in existence or was in existence up to the dissolution of the last Dáil.

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  Was in existence?

Mr. Desmond: Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  Could the Minister explain the new amendments which are envisaged?

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  An explanatory memorandum relating to the amendments to sections 30, 31 and 45, put down by my predecessor, was circulated with those amendments.

Mr. Tully: Information on James Tully  Zoom on James Tully  Is it not a fact that there is no Criminal Justice Bill or no intention whatever of introducing one?

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  There is every intention.

Mr. T.J. Fitzpatrick: Information on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  Zoom on Thomas J. Fitzpatrick  (Cavan): In view of the fact that the Bill has now been ditched for nearly 12 months and that it has been the subject of much controversy, would the Minister not agree that a neater way of dealing with the whole thing would be to introduce, if he must, a brand new Bill with a brand new explanatory memorandum?

Mr. Desmond: Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  And a brand new Minister.

Mr. O'Malley: Information on Desmond J. O'Malley  Zoom on Desmond J. O'Malley  That is one of the matters to which I will give consideration before I introduce it.

Mr. Desmond: Information on Barry Desmond  Zoom on Barry Desmond  Will it come in before or after Deputy Moran's press conference?


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